Meet the Pacers

Gazelle Sports' Official Pacers will be available in the 25K staging area on Race Day holding large signs with the pace per mile they will be running. They will be wearing brightly-colored shirts with pace per mile bibs on their backs for identification purposes.

Pacing will be available for those running miles in the following minute time frames: 7:00, 7:30, Two Hour Club, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 11:00 and 12:00.

Meet them at the 1st Saturday of the Month Training Run (Fall dates TBD) at the David D Hunting YMCA at 8a for various distance and aid station supported runs.   Meet in the Community Room - free and no registration required.   Non-members park in Dash Lot 7 ($2 fee).

Christopher Gregory
7:00 Minute
Pace leading at running events is always a fun & rewarding experience for me. I really enjoy helping others reach their running goals by coaching/guiding them thru the miles with metronome precision pacing. I have been a pacer at River Bank 25k for the 7:00 min/mile team 6 times since 2007 & consider Grand Rapids my "adult home" - it's awesome to pace the 25k each May! My favorite fall event is the Grand Rapids Marathon where I have been the 2:59 Pace Team leader for 11 straight Octobers. During my running career, I've been an official marathon pacer 64 times & have always hit my time. Events in the Midwest where I've paced 5x or more include - Grand Rapids, Chicago, Indy Monumental, Akron, US Air Force, Carmel & River Bank 25k. My most notable pacing experience recently occurred at 2019 Indy Monumental Marathon as the 2:45 Pacer for the Women's Olympic Trials Qualifying Time. I helped 18 women hit an OTQ by running under 2:45:00 with a 2:44:34 official time - it was incredible! My totals are 138 marathons with 70 sub-3's under my belt. My PR is 2:37:32 at Indy 2010. Triathlons each summer are a way to enjoy multi-sport races & improve my running fitness/consistency. Hope to catch you next May 2020 to run a 1:48 finish in GR at RBR 25k!
Meet Christopher
Hank Risley
7:00 Minute
I started running consistently in my late 30’s, as a way to manage my health and meet new people. I experienced several years of competitive Masters running at the local level. Chatty while on the run, I was drafted to pace first in 2008. I found that I really enjoyed getting to know others in their race, helping them through the tough spots and getting to the finish line!
Meet Hank
Ben Semyen
7:00 Minute
I've been running for over 10 years and enjoyed every step of the journey. I look forward to pacing events each year as a way to stay connected to the running community, and help other individuals accomplish their goals. I've had countless amazing pacing experiences on the streets on West Michigan and can't wait to add to them.
Met Ben
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Shawn Dennany
7:30 Minute
I was burnt out racing marathons after Boston 2017 and wanted to give back and take the pressure off.
Meet Shawn
Evan Groendyke
7:30 Minute
I've been racing for over a decade. Now that my life has gotten busier I don't have as much time to train to compete. I really enjoy giving back to the running community and helping others accomplish their goals!
Meet Evan
Kyle Snell
7:30 Minute
I would be very honored to be selected to be a pacer for the Riverbank run. I have previously paced this run two different years and I have really enjoyed the experience. It’s very special to be able to help people achieve their goals and also learn about different peoples stories. I also have paced multiple different races over the past few years, and every new race is a neat opportunity to continue to help people. I hope I can continue to be an encouragement to others, and I would be again honored to pace for the riverbank run.
Meet Kyle
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Robert Blaszak
2 Hour Club
My first run was on a treadmill, and I only made it 30 seconds before I had to walk. Slow, but determined, I stuck with it and lost over 100 pounds. The River Bank Run 25k is the first race I ever signed up for, back in 2010, and it’s also the one that inspired me to start running fast. I set a goal of getting into the 2 Hour Club and made it on my first try; I haven’t looked back since!
Meet Robert
Andrew Buikema
2 Hour Club
I got back in to running about 7 years ago after a long time of inactivity and gaining an enormous amount of weight. I ran in high school, but then stopped through college and my first several years in my professional life. I led a very unhealthy lifestyle of eating and zero activity. I finally decided to turn my life around and get back into running. My brother paced me at my first half marathon and pushed me harder than I could have
Meet Andrew
Aaron Velting
2 Hour Club
I truly love all things active and adventure! From running, biking, swimming, playing with my kiddos, hiking, or hitting the trails.
Meet Aaron
Scott VanLoo
2 Hour Club
While running is a big passion of mine pacing races to help individuals achieve that goal that they set out for, that is what drives me to volunteer for these events. If you're looking for someone to entertain you while you push through that wall...I'm here for you! I started running in 2009 to help shed the weight and now 82 marathons later I’ll be running with you to that finish line. Looking forward to meeting many of you on that race morning as we setup for a successull 25K finish!`
Meet Scott
Mark Magyar
8:00 Minute
Running since 2014 has changed my life. I've been lucky enough in these short five years to know the pain, work, sense of accomplishment and pure joy from meeting personal goals. I've had tons of help from friends, family, trainers and runners along the way, and I love to be in a position now to give back and help other runners meet their goals!
Meet Mark
Michael Oren
8:00 Minute
17 years ago I prefaced that I wanted to run an Ironman triathlon and an ultra marathon with "don't laugh"- as I could not run 5 miles without stopping. It was a long but rewarding journey to complete 3 ironman, 7 half ironman, and 3 ultra marathons in the years that followed. Running at long distances can be a lonely soul searching journey and hard to find similar journeymen/women. I've now paced around 15 various Marathons, 25k's, half marathons and found pacing has been a great opportunity to give back, connect, and share success with others on their own journey whether it's there first time or their 40th+ time. Event's like this are important parts of people's life stories - it's been part of mine since my grand father ran it in the early 80's- I still have a age group medal of his from 1983. It's an honor to share in a little piece of someone else's story and celebrate with them as they grit it out and cross the finish line.
Meet Michael
Scott Perkins
8:00 Minute
I have been pacing for many years now, honestly I've probably paced more events than I've raced. I enjoy helping athletes reach their goals and the challenge of finishing on an assigned time. The Riverbank run has always been one of my favorite events to pace because of the variety of runners from all backgrounds who participate. I enjoy getting to know the runners in our pace group and have met many athletes who have become friends through racing an event together.
Meet Scott
John Pauly
8:00 Minute
I started running in 2010 after my weight approached 300 lbs. In 2013 I ran my first marathon and have since completed seven more including the Boston Marathon in 2019. Running helped me become a happier and healthier person and I look forward to sharing that love of running with everyone at the RBR.
Meet John
Charles Fritz
8:30 Minute
Enjoy pacing this race every year with amazing runners and pacers. I use this race and pacing as my birthday gift to myself since my birthday is May 9th! I have been pacing half and full marathons for years and it’s my favorite part of running, helping others achieve their goals!
Meet Charles
Mary Hunter
8:30 Minute
The River Bank Run (aka RBR) is what ignited my love for running. Growing up in West Michigan, I was always aware of the RBR because there was always someone I knew who was participating. It wasn't until 2012 that I decided to take my shot at the 25k distance. But a sprained ankle in March sidelined me and I ran the 10k instead. I wanted to take another jab at the 25k distance in 2013 but I recently had a baby and ran the 5k instead. It wasn't until 2014 that I finally got my chance to tackle the 25k. My goal was to make the 2 Hour Club. I missed it by 6 minutes. Missing this goal only added fuel to the fire and I knew I would crush it in 2015. And I did! I dropped my time and was officially in the 2 Hour Club! My goal for 2016 was to beat my previous time but I had recently injured my spine and pelvis and running was quite painful. I managed to gut it out and still manage a minuscule PR. This setback only kept me going and I was determined to drop more time in 2017. I ran away with another PR! Every little PR made me fall even more in love with the RBR and kept me coming back for more. Unfortunately, that nasty spinal and pelvic injury made a reappearance in 2018 and I could not participate in the RBR. I got another chance in 2019 as a pacer for the 8:30 pace group. Let me tell you, there is no better feeling than pacing for the race that started my love of running in the first place! The entire distance feels electric as you run the streets of GR helping your fellow runners crush their 25k goals. I finished that race with a runner's high unlike any other I have ever felt. I knew that as soon as the race was over, I couldn't wait to be an RBR pacer again. The River Bank Run made me fall in love with running. All because of a 10k I ran in 2012 that has helped me accomplish 100 races from 5ks to marathons and 200 mile relays. I hope that as a pacer, I can help other runners fall in love with running, too and accomplish just as many races.
Meet Mary
Melissa Hunter
8:30 Minute
I have been running the past 13 years. I have had great accomplishments as well as failures. Failures make us stronger to achieve our ultimate goal. I love giving back to the community and seeing others achieve their goals. 2019 was my biggest race year starting with HellKAAT, Rivertown Races, 5/3 RBR, coast to coast, TC half IM, Chicago and NYC marathon
Meet Melissa
Rick Ganzi
8:30 Minute
Dr. Rick ran his first marathon in 1994 and made many of the normal rookie mistakes. He went out too fast, didn’t eat or drink enough, and struggled his way through the final eight miles. He has now run 140
Meet Rick
Hannah Livermore
9:00 Minute
I had always wanted to be a runner, but used to struggle with the motivation or drive. Once I started, with endless support from my running community, running became a lifestyle! After my first marathon, receiving a Boston qualifier, I signed up to for the 2013 Boston Marathon! Unfortunately, due to the events that occurred that day, my experience is not one that I want to remember.  In the years since Boston, I have taken the focus off of racing and competing, and have put more energy towards helping other runners. I've paced the River Bank Run for the past few years, along with several other races, and this has given me a new purpose for running - helping other runners reach their goals. I hope to share my support and enthusiasm, and make the race a great experience from start to finish!
Meet Hannah
Linnae Satterlee
9:00 Minute
I started running late in life, and never thought I would be a distance runner. In fact, I used to hate running, and I thought people who ran marathons were crazy! I started running when my youngest child started preschool. After several years of 5Ks, i ran my first half marathon in 2009. I trained completely on my own, did everything wrong, and still did ok! I caught the running bug, found training groups, and learned so many things from friends and mentors in the running community. Fast forward 10 years, and I have now completed 19 marathons, including 6 Boston Marathons, 9 River Bank Runs, and countless half marathons and other races. I would never have accomplished all of this without the love and support of the running community! Because of this, I want to help other runners achieve their goals. I want to be a pacer for the 53 River Bank Run, because this race is such a big part of our community, and I want to help other runners finish a 25K with a smile on their face, feeling strong, and having a sense of accomplishment!
Meet Linae
Kaitlin Wood
9:00 Minute
The River Bank Run always holds a special place in my heart as it was the first 5k road race I did back in high school and my first step into the distance running world back in 2012 when I jumped into the 25k for the first time. I enjoy running with many of the local running groups year round and love the family-like community we have with West Michigan Trail Runners and Wednesday Night Hills & Stairs. These groups have
Meet Kaitlin
Trevor Wood
9:00 Minute
The River Bank is the hometown annual run and I love nothing more than being able to ensure participants reach their goals they've been training for all throughout the winter. I can't explain the feeling after crossing the finish line and getting several strangers thanking me for just being there with them encouraging them to finish ahead of me. I have dove more into the trail scene and running longer distance races, but this 25k
Meet Trevor
Amanda Lacy
9:30 Minute
My name is Amanda Lacy and I've been running for 14 years. I started running to get in shape and be active, but I quickly discovered that I really enjoyed it and found a deep passion for the sport. Over the years my reasons for pounding the pavement have changed. It isn't just physical exercise anymore; it makes me happy, gives me balance, I reconnect with myself, and it is a part of who I am. Of course, running isn't always blissful. It's hard and there are many ups and downs. It humbles you and you find yourself walking away from a run or race with your head down. But these struggles can also be amazing teachers. There are lessons to be learned and it builds mental toughness. Embrace it and keep moving forward. The greatest thing about running is you don't have to have a certain "look" to be a part of this amazing sport. You just have to be willing to get out the door and put one foot in front of the other! Then you'll find out just how rewarding running can be!
Meet Amanda
Marty Jones
9:30 Minute
My passion for running and the endurance community continues into 2020 with the RBR!
Meet Marty
Brandy Shumaker
9:30 Minute
I have been running for 2 years, went through a big transformation about 3 years ago, I use to weigh 220 pounds and now at 135. Running saved my life really! I have met so many amazing people in the running community! I have done all kinds if races from 5k’s up to 34, and even a 50 miler. I recently qualified for Boston and Chicago which I am super excited for! I have paced for the Grand Rapids Marathon and with many of my running friends to help them achieve their personal PR. I am a consistent runner and love to have fun and talk and just have fun!
Meet Brandy
Michelle Gregory
9:30 Minute
I grew up as a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, and when I got to college, I was pretty sedentary. Thankfully, I began running in 2010 at age 24 when a coworker convinced me to sign up for a 5k. I fell in love with the race atmosphere immediately, so right after I crossed the finish line, I went home and signed up for another. Less than 3 months after that first 5k, I finished my first half marathon. Now, just over 8 years
Meet Michelle
Ken DeBack
10:00 Minute
My first race was the first River Bank run in 1978. I have run a multitude of races since then. I volunteered at a race for the first time in 2002. This experience gave me a whole new perspective. I stated pacing in 2006 and have paced over twenty races. These include the marathon, the half marathon, and the River Bank Run 25K.
Meet Ken
Arya Jayatilaka
10:00 Minute
I have been running for ~ 20 years and have completed 10 marathons, and ~ 80 Half Marathons. I enjoyed volunteering as a pace leader for 2019 River Bank 25K and several half marathons in Kalamazoo, Toledo, Indianapolis. I am excited about the opportunity to pace 2020 River bank 25K Run. I look forward to running with you to achieve our goals and hoping to make it a fun and memorable experience.
Meet Arya
Alana Matyas-Bower
10:00 Minute
As a seasoned runner of over a decade, a rewarding part of running nowadays is getting people into running and watching them fall in love with the sport. I love helping them along the way by being their mentor and the cheerleader that encourages them to set new goals. The most exciting part of the journey is watching them cross the finish line, especially when I know it is the furthest distance they’ve ever run. I love hearing every runner’s story and encouraging them along the way. The half marathon is a challenging distance and I love helping runners along the way as their pacer, cheerleader, source of inspiration, comedic relief and general announcer (porta potty! water!).
Meet Alana
Ryan Wasson
10:00 Minute
Hello Everyone I am Ryan Wasson AKA "Ryno" I started Running in 2013 on a bet with my sister. I would have never guessed it would turn into such a passion of mine. I slowly started with 5ks, then a 10k, and ran my first half in 2014. In 2015 I ran 2 Marathons
Meet Ryan
Kelly Machiorlatti
11:00 Minute
I started running distance races in 1999 after being spurred on by a friend to do the Chicago marathon (yep---that was my first race ever). From there I kind of caught the competitive bug and began participating in triathlons and trail races to add some spice to my running fun. I have paced many half marathons and one marathon and I love helping people achieve their goals. I live in Grand Rapids, MI with my two dogs and I work as a health and wellness coach. I believe exercise saves lives ... and sanity, and makes a better world. Healthy body, healthy mind, happy people…better world!
Meet Kelly
Jan-Al Robinson
11:00 Minute
I love to run but didn’t discover it until I was almost thirty. I believe you are never too old to find a new passion. I am truly passionate about running and feel it has changed my life. I have run 1 Ultra Marathon, 60+ marathons and lots of other distances. I have also dabbled in triathalons and duathalons to mix it up. My PR for a marathon is a 3:55 and PR for a half marathon is a 1:50. I have paced a number of races and find it to be incredibly rewarding. To support and give back to others in a sport I love is an amazing feeling. I am a member of the 50 States Club and I am a Marathon Maniac. To date, I have completed marathons in 35 states and love to travel. I find the best way to truly see a city is by foot.
Meet Jan-Al
Randy McGeorge
11:00 Minute
I got back into running when my older son participated in cross country in high school, and I've enjoyed both the competition and the camaraderie of so many different events- road and trail, adventure events, and all distances. I ran my first Riverbank 25K in 2011, and my only regret is not having done it 20 years sooner!
Meet Randy
Holly Visser
11:00 Minute
I have been running for a lot of years and it such a blessing to be able to journey along side other runners to see their dreams realized as they cross the finish line for perhaps that first time or hit that goal time. Those runs are always the most fulfilling. It isn’t about me that day. It’s truly about pouring into the people around me to make it their most memorable race day ever!
Meet Holly
Heather Durian
12:00 Minute
I went to college in Grand Rapids and always thought it a bustling city. I love to run, mostly just for the sake of doing it. It puts more life in your years. My favorite people to pace are those struggling or setting new goals. We inspire each other. I love to run!
Meet Heather
Christina Fong
12:00 Minute
I am a professional musician. Music is my life, my work and my passion. Running has helped me remain fit and meet the physical demands and endurance that is required for my work as a musician. I have been running now for nearly 20 years. I have run over a dozen marathons, and numerous other 5ks, 10ks and half marathons. To me pacing is a lot more rewarding than racing. I have been a moderately competitive runner. I will never be a fast or great runner, but I love the sport and what it has to offer. It was once important to me to meet my speed and distance goals, but now it is far more important for me to help others meet their goals.
Meet Christina
Cara Milburn
12:00 Minute
My name is Cara and I’ve been running since 2006. I’ve completed 25 half marathons, ten marathons, a 50k and my first 50 miler in November. I love how this sport has allowed me to meet so many amazing people and I look forward to meeting more as a pacer!
Meet Cara
Amy Rempalski
12:00 Minute
You would never guess, but I used to dislike running - it reminded me of gym class! Little did I know that running, let alone pacing, would later become a passion. I started by putting one foot in front of the other and never giving up, even when I encountered challenges. Running has taught me to look at challenges as opportunities. To this date, I have participated in over 60 long distance races and paced 35 of them, the most recent being the 2019 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, a race I will never forget! The River Bank Run was both my first long distance race and my first race as a pacer, so this race has special meaning for me. The local running community is awesome and I guarantee you will all make at least one new friend on the course! The River Bank Run is no exception! If you want to run with me, be ready for bad jokes and singing! At the same time, I appreciate the hard work it takes to get to the start line, so I want to help you in any way I can to get you to the finish line. I hope to see you out there!
Meet Amy